Friday, June 15, 2012

The Beauty of Sicily

I recently had the enormous pleasure of travelling to Sicily for a good friend’s wedding. If you have ever been there, you will know that it is truly captivating with villages built into rolling hills, beautiful beaches & coves, delicious food (not to mentioned heavenly gelato cafes) & restored farmhouses. All of this creates, from an outsider’s perspective, an idyllic lifestyle that is the complete opposite of London's hustle and bustle! 

My lovely boyfriend and I flew into Catania and hired a car (yes – the drivers are as crazy as most Italian write up’s imply) and arrived at our lovely boutique hotel We embarked on a midnight stroll and came across a local hang out where we managed to order in broken Italian ice cold beers, homemade pesto ravioli & aubergine lasagne. Perfection!
The following morning we braved the mid morning traffic and drove to Modica (with a stop-over in beautiful Noto). Modica is the city of chocolate (heaven!) and we stayed in converted caves that had been restored by the architect who owns them at The hotel location required us to lug our bags up winding steep streets but the view was truly worth it (a view that we looked over whilst eating a breakfast of home-made cakes, breads & jam with freshly squeezed juice every morning).    

Next stop was the wedding location with stop offs in Piazza Armerina (B&B La Casa sulla Collina d'Oro) and Enna. We stayed in an amazingly picturesque farmhouse in Antico Feudo San Giorgio with the rest of the wedding guests. The wedding was one of the most beautiful that I have ever been to and was followed the next day by a very glamorous pool party before heading to Scopello where we were blown away by the landscape, food and beaches. Paradise!  
Our last stop was Marsala where a friend that we were travelling with has friends who own the vineyard 'Baglio Curatolo Arini' and we were treated to delicious pasta of lemon, olive oil and chilli with generous amounts of chilled wine & Marsala at their gorgeous home surrounded by flowering hedges and lemon trees.
The following day we reluctantly made the journey to Palermo and flew back to London with memories of 12 days that we will never forget! If you ever get the chance to visit I would suggest you take it! There is a such a simplicity about Sicily in the way that it is so unspoilt, the people are so humble and the food is always locally produced & prepared differently depending on the season. 
Needless to say, we would go back in a heartbeat!